Confronted by rising costs, constrained resources and a challenging technology roadmap, the semiconductor industry continues to face difficult technology and investment choices. To remain competitive, companies must decrease the time to market for new innovations while controlling escalating R&D and capital costs. A wrong bet can easily cost millions or even billions of dollars in lost time, resources and market share.
The competitive landscape is further complicated by the structural changes that have occurred in our industry as vertical integration has given way to increased segmentation and specialization. While this may have solved many business issues, it has also created new visibility, coordination and affordability challenges.
This evolution has heightened the need for collaboration and the semiconductor community has responded by developing new ways to work together on major transitions in device structures, patterning, materials and manufacturing. Successful introduction of new technologies now depends on a broader and deeper industrial collaboration, aligning key stakeholders across the industry ecosystem—including the systems, IDM, fabless, foundry, packaging and assembly, equipment, materials, and electronic design automation (EDA) communities.
Here at SEMATECH, this type of interdependent approach to technology development is evident in several novel initiatives that address major transitions in advanced lithography, new materials and processes for sub-20 nm manufacturing, and the 450 mm wafer integration.
Projecting forward, as we push into the sub-14 nm realm, how will industry collaborations change as we tackle difficult challenges such as heterogeneous packaging, 3D device structures, nanodefectivity and 450 mm? In 2016 and beyond, the opportunities and challenges of heterogeneous integration, nanodefects, and the post-450 mm era will require new innovations—not only in technology and manufacturing, but also in the business of collaboration.
At SEMATECH, we feel confident the lessons we have learned from more than 25 years of successful industry collaboration will help us harness the power of cooperation in new ways as we continue to adopt new strategies to forge new common ground—spanning more broadly across regions, extending more deeply into the supply chain, cutting across technology disciplines, and optimizing the use of shared industry R&D centers.
President and CEO, SEMATECH
SEMATECH President and CEO